Europe is a must-visit destination whether you live on European lands or are coming from further afar. It offers beaches, old towns, big cities, countryside, mountains and so much more that cater to all kinds of tourists.
The best places to visit in Europe that are recommended and are on most people’s Europe bucket list are the big iconic cities like Rome, Paris and London but if you really want to see the best of Europe you need to escape the capital cities and get into the towns in Europe because it’s here you will find the best hidden gems in Europe!
In this post, I have suggested 10 places to visit in Europe that are the best hidden secrets in Europe and unique places to visit in Europe. Although fairly unexplored, these towns in Europe are well connected and well facilitated so you can visit them easily!
Best Hidden Gems in Europe
1. Folegandros, Greece
This best hidden gem in Europe is an Aegean treasure. With a mere 765 inhabitants, Folegandros comprises three small villages of Karavostasis, Chora & Ano Meria. If you are looking for a quiet hideout in Europe and hidden beaches in Europe to visit this unexplored island is the best idea.
The village Chora built on the edge of a 200-metre high cliff giving tourists a view of its typical whitewashed houses and stunning white pebbled beach. The island also has lustrous landscapes, tall cliffs and caves that are a sight for the eyes. Folegandros has mini resorts giving the luxuries of a comfortable stay to its tourists and it’s possible to reach the island in about four hours by ferry. So, pack your bags, hire a car along with a sturdy roof rack and enjoy the peaceful sights and the tranquillity of this hidden gem in Europe.
2. Hellnar and Arnarstapi, Iceland
Iceland is high on a lot of peoples Europe bucket list, because of this Iceland gets very busy and the main tourist areas are no longer hidden gems in Iceland but the ancient fishing villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi which form the westernmost part of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland are!
The remote settlement at the foot of Mt Stapafell is the village’s main attraction as it gives a mesmerizing glimpse of the villages’ glorious natural surroundings.
Tourists visiting this best hidden gem in Europe can soak in the sights of the wondrous columnar basalt ravines, deep blue waters and caves located around the small piers. The village of Hellnar has bright cottages and some of the strangest shapes of dried-up lava streams that are a sight to behold making it a really unique place to visit in Europe too!
3. Adishi, Georgia
Most people now know Tbilisi the capital city of Georgia, but for something different and for one of the best hidden gems in Europe, look into Adishi!
A highland town located 2,040 metres above sea level, Adishi forms an integral part of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region of Georgia. It is a small and isolated town in the mountains of Georgia with picturesque landscapes and medieval monuments.
The Greater Caucasus Mountains that run through the Adishi village houses the Mount Adishi and its glacier that feeds the streams below.
Travellers can also explore historical and cultural sites of Adishi like the Church of the Archangel, Church of the Deliverer, St George churches and several Svanetian towers that date back to more than 1000 years old. Dotted by beautiful stone houses from the Middle Ages and their fortified towers, Adishi is perfect for people longing for some real natural beauty in Georgia and some hidden gems in Georgia.
4. Clonakilty, Ireland
When you think of Europe you might not think of Ireland but there are so many places in Ireland to visit and many hidden gems! Clonakilty is a beautiful seaside town in County Cork in Ireland. Clonakilty in Irish means ‘stone (castle) of the woods’ and is also named as ‘Clon’ in short by its local community.
This hidden gem in Ireland is a beautiful amalgamation of brightly coloured houses, wide sand beaches, and charming eateries with live music pubs that lit up the town’s main streets. Be sure to try the famous ‘Clonakilty black pudding’, a local recipe of 1880, is a must-try speciality of this place.
5. Ore Mountains, Germany
Located in the depths of Saxony region of Germany, the Ore Mountains are perfect for travellers who seek historic and Christmas traditions! The range stretches for 160 km along the German-Czech border and gives a pleasant sight of some of the most dazzling landscapes.
From ancient castles to interesting museums, traditional wood carving to candle making, his hidden gem in Europe and hidden gem in Germany has something for everyone!
The region is aptly referred to as the ‘Cradle of Culture and Christmas’ as it transforms into a magical land in winter in Christmas and other wonderful festivals and rituals making it even more perfect for visiting in this season.
6. Sintra, Portugal
The Portugal town of Sintra is a hidden gem of natural beauty and one of the best hidden gems in Europe. It is famous for its picturesque town views and historic palaces. The region between the mountains and the sea of Sintra houses rich historical heritage sites like Monserrate Palace, Palace of Queluz, Pena Palace and the Castle of the Moors for travellers to visit.
The momentous centre of the Vila de Sintra is also a tourist hotspot and is celebrated for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, historic estates, villas, and royal palaces.
Sintra is a popular day trip from Lisbon and therefore very easy to get to but if you can, give it a bit more time than everyone else does.
7. San Andres, Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife doesn’t always have the best reputation but San Andres is a beautiful village located on this Canary Island in Spain and is one of my recommended best hidden gems in Europe!
San Andres is a haven for travellers who love natural beauty. The village leads to the ‘Las Teresitas beach’, which is the most exquisite golden sandy beach in Tenerife and the beach is a perfect place to relax after a tour of the village. Tourists can also explore the architectural sights of Church of St. Andrew, Castle of San Andrés and the Avenue Pedro Schwartz (known as The Wall) of San Andreas.
8. Procida Island, Italy
There are so many hidden gems in Italy and Procida Island, part of the Phlegrean Islands located off the coast of Naples in southern Italy is one of them!
Known as one of the most beautiful islands in Europe, Procida Island stands between Cape Miseno and Ischia. The exciting feature about the place is its colourful houses, painted in similar colours of the fishermen boats. However, Procida’s main attraction highlight is the Marina Corricella, the village built on the rock leading to the sea.
Just look at this for one of the best hidden gems in Europe!
9. Sibiu, Romania
Many people might not think of visiting Romania in Europe but this is why you should visit if you want hidden places in Europe and hidden gems in Europe! The town of Sibiu in Transylvania is a historical region of Romania located across the Cibin River and a great place to visit in Romania.
It is a beautiful portrayal of architecture dating back to the Middle Ages and the town can easily be explored by bicycle or foot, as it is famous as a ‘cyclist-friendly’ city. Nicknamed the ‘City with Eyes or Seebiu’, vistors love meandering around the old town and immersing themselves in the beauty of ancient architecture.
The well preserved Citadel of Sibiu is one of the best-fortified citadels across the Europe continent. Sibiu is also famous for its Christmas market making it a great place to visit in Europe in Winter.
10. Maastricht, The Netherlands
Everyone seems to love the Netherlands but Amsterdam is too busy these days! Maastricht is a university town located in the southern Netherlands. It is a distinguished destination and known for its rich culture and architectural traces from the mediaeval period.
With the Meuse River running across it, Maastricht gives stunning countryside views of natural beauty and historic castles. Its old paved town is located the Sint Janskerk church and a beautiful basilica of St. Servatius.
The Bonnefanten art museum dominates the Maas River banks. The entire inner city with several historic wonders is an explorer’s delight and is easily accessible by foot making it one of the best hidden gems in Europe! Apart from its rich heritage and history, Maastricht is also famous for its magnificent vineyards, luminous art galleries and excellent restaurants.